How to Stop Mexican Politicians from Stealing Public Funds

The León/Guanajuato newspaper A.M.
Feb 28, 2014: Summarized from an article by Denise Dresser, on the case #YoContribuyente.

It is hard to find someone in Mexico who does not believe that politicians pilfer from the public coffers. A certain percentage of income tax monies is to flow to the federal coffers. Often, when the mayors and governors have mismanaged (the useful excuse) or pilfered, they ask for a condonación or waiver, reprieve or cancellation of what is owed the federal government, as if these well-intentioned politicians had suffered an inexplicable Act of Missing Funds and needed federal mercy.

As I understand it, in such cases, the unpaid tax monies are forgiven by Congress with a certain frequency, especially when the delinquent governors and mayors are friends and cronies of the ruling majority. That is, the missing tax monies are socialized, i.e. assumed and paid for by rest of the nation’s tax payers.

Astute political observer and journalist Professor Denise Dresser and friends are submitting a writ of amparo— a legal procedure to protect human rights—to the Mexican Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of this practice: politicians pleading victimhood, then asking for financial bailouts—essentially a thinly disguised method of graft.

Articles 103 and 107 of the Mexican Constitution insure citizens the right to ask for a judicial review of governmental action in an effort to protect individuals against State abuse—an idea allegedly coming from De Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.

March 6, 2014

La Jornada.

An agency called the ASF (Auditoria Superior de la Federación—the federal audit), after examining the state of Queretero’s books for 2012, has found that huge amounts of federal funds earmarked for education at all levels were used instead for bonuses (Christmas and otherwise) for some 16,463 education officials (trabajadores comisionados), of which 209 appeared not to exist at all. There are 18,955 teachers in the state that were supposed to be paid or supported by the monies diverted. A total of 37.2% of federal educational funds were never applied to education. In addition, roughly 39 million federal pesos were never applied to police and police training for which they had been allotted.

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